Hand/Thumb Injuries: Who's had one?


Junior Member
4 months ago, I sprained my thumb playing basketball. Blocked a shot, I caught it wrong and it pushed my thumb back hard = Instant sharp pain, instant swelling.

I stopped playing drums, canceled some gigs I had at the time.

It got better, I still have occasional soreness.weakness (perhaps it's scar tissue), I want to start playing again. I've done a little drum pad work, but haven't played anything heavy.

Anyone had this happen to them? I'm curious about the recovery.


Senior Member
I did a similar thing but happened at home. Thought rest would fix it but 2 months later it was better but still a problem. I went to a physiotherapist for treatment and advice. Massage by the physio and other treatment helped inc anti inflammatories. He advised me how to strap the thumb to provide support when required for drumming, work in the yard etc.Eventually the problem still existed and the physio advised some scans. They showed that I had arthritis in my thumb that was not helped by the injury. ( this won't be an issue for you unless you are older, like me. I'm 64.) So now I just live with it. Occasional anti inflammatories and strapping. I guess my message is - get it checked out. Sometimes the body needs some extra assistance to heal.

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I drilled a hole through my thumb. I never stopped playing. I simply put the stick between my index finger and my middle finger.
I developed a blister and so I wore a glove until my thumb healed.

If you play hard like a metal drummer then I can understand you quitting for a while.
At a gig I would advise playing until your thumb gets tired then switching to index/middle finger for a while. Then go back to thumb for a while. etc.



Platinum Member
I damaged my hands in a car accident. Multiple surgeries in my right hand to repair tendons, then remove scar tissue, etc. One surgery in my left hand. Sometimes I think it's a miracle I can brush my own teeth, lol.

Recovery time was about two months before I could really play, and I've never quite gotten full dexterity back. I found I just adapted over time.

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Recovery time was about two months before I could really play, and I've never quite gotten full dexterity back. I found I just adapted over time.
This brings up an interesting issue.

A few years ago I was always critical of other drummers if I saw them use what I considered bad hand technique. (I was away from drumming or many years)
However, after being on this forum and learning a lot about different techniques for stick control, I have changed. Now I realize that everyone can have a little bit different technique and it is OK. We are not all built exactly the same.

I might see you, IDDrummer, play and think, “Gee he plays really well, but his hand technique is not very good”. Not knowing that you have had devastating hand injuries.
My point is after injuries you might just have to adapt to a slightly different way of playing.



A buddy of mine just cut half the tip of his thumb off. He quit playing for 2 weeks to let it heal a big then got back on the horse.


Junior Member
I just did the same thing. Used to train MMA. Drumming is the hobby I replaced MMA with when my kids were born. Jammed and busted both my thumbs up many times over the years catching them out with bad technique or the way boxing gloves make you tuck it to the side with all the padding.

Hung out with some old training buddies for UFC 202 last friday and did some sparring and injured the tendon running on the outside of the thumb. The problem with hand injuries for me has been it's hard not to use your hands so they take a long time to heal. Appropriate medicine for inflammation and ice/heat and compression early after injury is critical to getting a good start on healing. Also learning to wrap it properly to support it during recovery (while you're playing) is important. I always seem to re-injure the thumb at least once during my recoveries which always sets me back a week or two.

The hardest part of playing after injury hasn't been adapting my fulcrum to a weaker thumb and dropping sticks a lot more often but loosing touch due to stiffness and motion that I'm not yet comfortable playing with.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I go to the limits every day. Would not work without a recovery plan. It's the only way I'm ready to go full out the next day.

This week I've been doing a lot of other physical labour at home and did hurt my right thumb a bit.

It is annoying, and anything like this does detract from the playing experience. Still, the way do things, I know I'll recover fast.


Pioneer Member
Have you spoken to a Dr about this issue? You may need more rest and some exercises to strengthen it back up. Sprains take longer to heal than broken bones.